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How to Level Up Your B2B Commerce Solution

Level Up Your B2B Commerce Solution

Leveling up B2B commerce is so much more than getting products to existing customers. If a company saves you time, you’ll go back again and again. Here's how.

If your company sells to business buyers online and wants to better connect with buyers, you’re not alone. After all, 84% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products. But research shows that only 27% of B2B decision-makers said their businesses had already taken steps to maximize revenue in the digital age.

So how can you bridge the gap? Level up your B2B commerce — here’s how.

Think beyond order fulfillment

Once you’ve figured out the supply chain logistics, give your customers an easy buying experience. 

B2B companies have spent lots of effort on the technicalities of online orders. By now, most have overcome supply chain issues of getting the orders to their buyers and now have more time to focus on other investments. The proof: less than a third of B2B organizations feel they need to improve order fulfillment, and only 3% refrained from selling online due to being ill-equipped for order fulfillment. (This is down from 18% of reporting the same issue in 2017.) As a B2B commerce pro who’s checked off these fundamentals, now you can focus on streamlining your website and user interface for maximum ROI.

Reach new customers and use ecommerce strategically

Save your sales team time by using ecommerce to sell to smaller customers and for run-rate activities. 

Without supply chain issues holding B2B companies back, there’s even more room for ecommerce to grow. B2B companies can move orders to their online platforms, which will meet buyer expectations and free sales teams for high-touch tasks. Seventy-six percent of B2B buyers find it helpful to speak to a salesperson when they are researching a new product or service. But only 15% want to speak to sales when repurchasing the same product or service. By allowing buyers to buy online, B2B companies will be easier to buy from and provide a better experience.

And when customers handle these tasks through online self-service, companies can focus on other things — like delivering a white-glove experience to enterprise prospects. 

For example, a consumer goods manufacturer needs to focus on larger, national retailers that comprise a majority of their revenue. But small corner stores also want their products. By selling online, these smaller stores can order themselves, and the manufacturer’s sales teams can focus on high-touch activities while growing revenue.

Finally, B2B companies can leverage digital channels to expand into new markets. Forty percent of B2B decision-makers support using ecommerce to expand their business.

Get more from your data

Get insights on average order size and time on site — and personalize the buying experience. 

Understanding customer data helps companies track progress on goals. These often include increasing average order size through personalized cross- and upsell. Since 2017, there has been a 20% increase in the number of companies that hope to use data to target customers more effectively in the future. 

Another success metric is time on site. Unlike in B2C commerce, where the more time a shopper spends on site the better, B2B buyers are often looking for efficiency. They may be reordering a common order and hope to do it quickly. So seeing average customer time on site decrease could be a sign of an efficient buying experience.  

Data also enables personalized experiences at scale that delight customers. Personalized data could include weather or typical time to buy. For example, if a customer usually reorders on the first day of every month and is late, a note to remind them to reorder can be helpful.

The next step

Leveling up B2B commerce is so much more than getting products to existing customers. If a company saves you time, you’ll go back again and again. 

Discover how else you can personalize experiences, analyze all sorts of data, and fuel growth with the Guide to Planning Your Long-Term Digital Growth

All statistics in this post, unless otherwise noted are from Planning Your Long-Term Digital Growth.

Kate Sheridan Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Commerce Cloud

Kate Sheridan is a senior product marketing manager for Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Sheridan focuses on positioning and messaging, release marketing, analyst relations, and competitive intelligence for B2B commerce. Before joining Salesforce, she worked in brand management and ecommerce for Drano, Windex, Scrubbing Bubbles, and more.

More by Kate

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